Review: Why you should read Shel Israel’s “Lethal Generosity”

Shel Israel wrote a followup to his book with Robert Scoble, The Age of Context. Lethal Generosity: Contextual Technology & The Competitive Edge explains what companies need to do now that everything in the world is getting smarter. You really should read it. Shel and I have been on parallel paths for about eight years. He … Continued

Presidential nomination bullshit

When it comes to finding presidential nominees, we’re doing it wrong. Here’s what enables you to succeed — that is, to survive — as a presidential nominee in the early going: Ability to create striking soundbites in debates and other forums with no regard for whether they are factually inaccurate. Quick wit in criticizing other people … Continued

In the #IStandWithAhmed story, conflicting principles confound the principal

There’s a lot more going on in Irving, Texas than a clever boy with a home-made clock and brown skin. Look close, and the story of #IStandWithAhmed — and the letter the principal sent to parents — reveals how America is cracking apart. [tweetthis]America is built on contradictions. They’re at the heart of #IStandWithAhmed.[/tweetthis] Here are a couple: … Continued

United Airlines’ missed opportunity to move beyond platitudes

There’s been a little trouble over at United Airlines. But new CEO Oscar Munoz’s platitudinous email to frequent flyers makes it sound like everything’s great. He missed the opportunity to transform the airline and tell the truth about it. United is the worst major U.S. airline, which, given the pathetic state of US air travel, is … Continued

How to take edits (and any other kind of advice)

You asked for feedback. You got their edits. Now what? Should you do what they say? When it comes to edits (and, for that matter, advice on anything), the key principles is this: [tweetthis]Editors exist to reveal what you cannot see, not to tell you what to do.[/tweetthis]   This is a crucial distinction. If … Continued

Is the “Harrison Bergeron” problem handicapping your work day?

Having trouble thinking straight? Try thinking for more than 45 seconds at a time. That’s a lesson from of one of my favorite stories of all time, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron.” Vonnegut describes a dystopic future in which “everybody was finally equal.” If you happened to have some unusual quality, such as beauty or a … Continued

Ask the first question

When you’re listening to a good speech, your mind is engaged. The speech ends and the audience claps. Now raise your hand and ask the first question. I first learned this on December 7, 1995. The buzz around Web browsers had become deafening. My Forrester colleagues felt the browser was a threat to Windows and the desktop (and … Continued

HubSpot: the humble disruptor at #INBOUND15

Around 14,000 people came to Boston for HubSpot’s #INBOUND15 conference this week. Fourteen thousand. For a company that helps you run your Web site more effectively. What’s going on here? This is what disruption without the swagger looks like. And it ought to be a model for every startup from now on. “Inbound” is a … Continued